Window cleaning system with water circulation for building façade maintenance robot and its efficiency analysis

  • Sung Min Moon
  • Chang Yeob Shin
  • Jaemyung Huh
  • Kyeong Won Oh
  • Daehie HongEmail author


Most maintenance works on building exterior walls are carried out by human labor and a cable-driven system (gondola). This approach involves a safety problem, motivating many recent studies of exterior wall automated maintenance methods. However, the conventional studies have been concentrated only on moving mechanism and the studies on cleaning method and processing of cleaning materials are insufficient. In addition, most conventional automated systems are composed of a roll-brush and injection nozzle. These systems generate problems such as the scattering and dripping of used water resulting contamination of surrounding areas. In order to solve these problems, a new cleaning tool system with water circulation function is developed to improve cleaning efficiency and reduce water usage in this paper. Using the cleaning tool system with the water circulation (injection-squeeze-suctioncollection-filtering-recharge) and Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) flow control, the scattering and dripping was removed and the water usage was reduced about 20%. Also, this cleaning tool system was compared to manual work by human experts as well as previously developed automated (or semi-automated) cleaning robots through statistical analysis.


Building façade maintenance robot Window cleaning tool system Water circulation system T-test Statistical analysis 


  1. 1.
    Chad, J. J. and McJunkin, J. T., “Façade Maintenance: Owner’s Techniques for Data Management Reference,” Building Façade Maintenance, Repair, and Inspection, Vol. 1444, pp. 109–115, 2004.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chu, B., Jung, K., Han, C. S., and Hong, D., “A Survey of Climbing Robots: Locomotion and Adhesion,” Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf., Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 633–647, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jung, K., Chu, B., Park, S., and Hong, D., “An Implementation of a Teleoperation System for Robotics Beam Assembly in Construction,” Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf., Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 351–358, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Shen, W., Gu, J., and Shen, Y., “Permanent Magnetic System Design for the Wall-Climbing Robot,” Applied Bionics and Biomechanics, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 151–159, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Choi, Y.-H. and Jung, K.-M., “Windoro: The World’s First Commercialized Window Cleaning Robot for Domestic Use,” Proc. of the 8th International Conference on Ubiquitous Robots and Ambient Intelligence, pp. 131–136, 2011.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Resino, J. C., Jardon, A., Gimenez, A., and Balaguer, C., “Analysis of the Direct and Inverse Kinematics of ROMA II Robot,” Proc. of the 9th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots, pp. 107–114, 2006.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Longo, D., Muscato, G., and Sessa, S., “Simulation and Locomotion Control for the Alicia3 Climbing Robot,” Proc. of the 22nd International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, 2005.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Robosoft, “RobuGLASS,” (Accessed 11 November 2014)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Serbot AG, “Façade Cleaning,” (Accessed 11 November 2014)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ecovacs, “Winbot,” (Accessed 11 November 2014)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sky Pro, “Automated Window Washing: How Transitioning from Traditional Cleaning Technique Can Improve Safety and Profitability,” (Accessed 11 November 2014)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Qian, Z.-Y., Zhao, Y.-Z., Fu, Z., and Cao, Q.-X., “Design and Realization of a Non-Actuated Glass-Curtain Wall-Cleaning Robot Prototype with Dual Suction Cups,” The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 30, No. 1–2, pp. 147–155, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Qian, Z. Y., Zhao, Y. Z., Fu, Z., and Cao, Q. X., “Fluid Model of Sliding Suction Cup of Wall-Climbing Robots,” International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 275–284, 2006.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Elkmann, N., Kunst, D., Kruegger, T., Lucke, M., Bohme, T., et al., “SIRIUSc: Façade Cleaning Robot for a High-Rise Building in Munich, Germany,” Proc. of the 7th International Conference Climbing and Walking Robots, pp. 1033–1040, 2004.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Elkmann, N., Lucke, M., Krueger, T., Kunst, D., and Stuerze, T., “Kinematics and Sensor and Control System of the Fully Automated Facade Cleaning Robot SIRIUSc for Fraunhofer Headquarters in Munich,” in: Field and Service Robotics, Laugier, C. and Siegwart, R., (Eds.), Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, Vol. 42, pp. 505–512, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Akinfiev, T., Armada, M., and Nabulsi, S., “Climbing Cleaning Robot for Vertical Surfaces,” Industrial Robot: An International Journal, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 352–357, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zhang, H., Zhang, J., Wang, W., Liu, R., and Zong, G., “A Series of Pneumatic Glass-Wall Cleaning Robots for High-Rise Buildings,” Industrial Robot: An International Journal, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 150–160, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    IPC Eagle, “HighRise,” (Accessed 11 November 2014)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Manntech, “Façade Cleaning Systems,” (Accessed 11 November 2014)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wang, W., Tang, B., Zhang, H., and Zong, G., “Robotics Cleaning System for Glass Façade of High-Rise Airport Control Tower,” Industrial Robot: An International Journal, Vol. 37, No. 5, pp. 469–478, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Zhang, H., Wang, W., Liu, R., Zhang, J., and Zong, G., “Locomotion Realization of an Autonomous Climbing Robot for Elliptic Half-Shell Cleaning,” Proc. of the IEEE Conference on Industrial Electronics and Applications, pp. 1220–1225, 2007.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bock, T. A., “Robot-Oriented Design,” Proc. of the 5th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, pp. 135–144, 1988.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Moon, S.-M., Hong, D., Kim, S.-W., and Park, S., “Building Wall Maintenance Robot based on Built-in Guide Rail,” Proc. of the IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology, pp. 498–503, 2012.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Shin, C. Y., Moon, S. M., Kwon, J. H., Huh, J., and Hong, D., “Force Control of Cleaning Tool System for Building Wall Maintenance Robot on Built-In Guide Rail,” Proc. of the 31st International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, pp. 157–162, 2014.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kim, S., Spenko, M., Trujilo, S., Heyneman, B., Santos, D., et al., “Smooth Vertical Surface Climbing with Directional Adhesion,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 65–74, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Asbeck, A. T., Kim, S., McClung, A., Parness, A., and Cutkosky, M. R., “Climbing Walls with Microspines,” Proc. of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation, pp. 4315–4317, 2006.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lee, S. H., “Design of the Out-Pipe Type Pipe Climbing Robot,” Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf., Vol. 14, No. 9, pp. 1559–1563, 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Foote, G. B., “The Water Drop Rebound Problem: Dynamics of Collision,” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 390–402, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lee, S. H., Lee, J. H., Park, C. W., Lee, C. Y., Kim, K., et al., “Continuous Fabrication of Bio-Inspired Water Collecting Surface Via Roll-Type Photolithography,” Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf.-Green Tech., Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 119–124, 2014.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society for Precision Engineering 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung Min Moon
    • 1
  • Chang Yeob Shin
    • 1
  • Jaemyung Huh
    • 1
  • Kyeong Won Oh
    • 2
  • Daehie Hong
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Graduate School of Mechanical EngineeringKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations